Separate flags for North and East Provincial Councils

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 May 2007, 01:22 GMT]
Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, Governor of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) and acting Governor of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Tuesday introduced two separate provincial flags to the de-merged Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) to be used in future official functions. Mr Wijewickrema handed over the NPC flag to its Chief Secretary Mr.S.Rangarajah, and the EPC flag to its Chief Secretary Mr.Herat Abeyeweera at an event held Tuesday at the Governor's Secretariat.

Earlier the temporarily merged North East Provincial Council (NEPC) had one provincial flag.

Eagle, Fish and Lion symbols are in the EPC provincial flag. Eagle symbolises Trincomalee- fish Batticaloa and lion Amparai. EPC comprises these three districts. The new flag for NPC has symbol SUN in middle of the flag.

North East Provincial Councils were temporarily merged in 1989 with the signing of Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement in 1987. The Indo-Sri Lanka agreement was signed with the intention of solving the Tamil national question with the formation of one provincial council for north and east provinces.

However, the main purpose of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement was lost with the dissolution of the elected NEPC in 1990. Since then the NEPC was administered by the central government with a nominee of the government appointed as the Governor till it was de-merged this year. However the provincial council system has been extended to other parts of Sri Lanka, and elected councils are in power in these provinces.

The NEPC was de-merged at the beginning of 2007 following the Supreme Court ruling on petitions filed by Sinhala nationalist forces, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JHU) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).

Thereafter, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed two separate Governors for each province. Rear Admiral Mohan Wijayawickrema who held the Governor post of the temporarily merged NEPC was appointed Governor for the Eastern Provincial Council. However he is also currently functioning as acting Governor for the Northern Provincial Council till a suitable Tamil person is found, sources said.


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